DEC has warned campers and hikers that black bears have been active stealing food from campers, hikers, and rock climbers in two locations in the Dix Mountain Wilderness.
Campers and hikers are encouraged to keep all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear resistant canister to avoid attracting black bears.
Campers are also advised to avoid cooking and eating after dark. Prepare and eat food away from the tent site.
If approached by a bear, do not give it food. Make noise and try to scare it away. Call the DEC Regional Wildlife Office at (518) 897-1291 to report encounters with bears.
DEC has announced the following:
Hikers and campers may also want to consider carrying bear spray as a precautionary measure for close encounters. If you do so please read the instructions carefully before setting out on the trail and be sure to follow the instructions if you use the spray.
Bears have approached hikers and campers in the area around Gill Brook, Indian Head, Mt. Colvin, Elk Pass, and Nippletop. These bears are approaching closely in an attempt to intimidate people into giving them food. DEC warns hikers and campers not to reward bears by dropping packs or otherwise providing them with food.
DEC recently captured and euthanized the most aggressive of the bears. A bear with one purple ear tag and one green ear tag had been approaching numerous hikers and campers very closely and not backing down.
Another bear with one red ear tag has been a reported problem but has not behaved as aggressively has been encountered less frequently.
Other bears have been stealing food from campers and rock climbers in the area around Chapel Pond, including the Beer Walls.
Campers are hikers are encouraged to keep all food, toiletries, and garbage in a bear resistant canister or out of sight in motor vehicles. Rock climbers should rack up at their vehicle, leave all food in the vehicle, or carry any food with you as you climb. Do not leave packs on the ground for bears to destroy.
DEC has temporarily closed one of the campsites at the Chapel Pond Outlet while it attempts to capture the bears. Captured bears will be given unique colored ear tags, hazed, and released.
Photo: Black bear, courtesy DEC.